Wednesday 9 October 2013

Connected world architecture to rural wastewater utilities

The latest high performance offering from GE Intelligent Platforms is Pump Station Appliance, a purpose-built solution that provides connected control and monitoring for rural wastewater facilities. This pre-engineered, pre-programmed solution can be purchased online and comes fully-assembled for easy installation, eliminating the need for complex design and engineering.

“Upgrading to a sophisticated automated control system seems impossible when you have limited staff, funds and IT support,” said Alan Hinchman, Global Market Director Water Industry for GE Intelligent Platforms. “The Pump Station Appliance is the first PLC-based solution you can buy online. No IT resources are required.”

By answering a few questions online regarding the physical layout of the wastewater pump station, users can configure the Pump Station Appliance to their specific wet well. Its intuitive web-based interface and menu-driven configuration make installation easy and fast. The solution arrives pre-built and can be installed by a local electrician who simply connects the devices to the pre-wired control panel.

Built on the high performance PACSystems RXi platform, the Pump Station Appliance provides reliable performance to improve uptime even in the harshest environments. Communications are provided over a secure 3G VPN connection providing operators access to operations data from anywhere, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The system will also send the operators email alarm notifications if problems occur at the remote site.

The Pump Station Appliance is also easy to reconfigure online as needed, so it can grow with the needs of the facility. The RXi’s COM Express architecture enables easy upgrades without replacing the entire controller.

“A wastewater utility plays a big role in community safety and environmental protection. If the utility’s monitoring and control system is too outdated to run efficiently and effectively, it impacts operational costs, safety and the environment. If the system fails, and control and IT support are hours away, you may see hours of downtime and potential damage. Many utility managers consider control system upgrades too expensive and complex to initiate—but the reality is, it costs you more to put it off.

“GE’s Pump Station Appliance is an affordable solution to monitoring and controlling a rural utility from anywhere,” he concluded. “With no complex design or engineering, no radio architecture, no server infrastructure to install or maintain, and no HMI, there’s no other system this easy to configure, install and operate.”

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